Four-year-old Mitchell loves to knock things down: blocks, cups, papers—even his dad is fair game. Knowing his son’s...

MITCHELL GOES BOWLING

Boisterous Mitchell and his resourceful dad are back in a hilarious father-and-son tale that celebrates working together with wit and warmth (Mitchell’s License, 2011).

Four-year-old Mitchell loves to knock things down: blocks, cups, papers—even his dad is fair game. Knowing his son’s proclivities, Dad finds a creative solution: the bowling alley! Loud crashes, colorful balls and cool shoes make this tyke feel right at home. But after he learns about the gutter and sees his dad’s strikes, Mitchell’s competitive fire runs hot. He tries everything to win. He hollers, he heaves, and then...he wants to go home. That is, until his dad suggests they be on the same team. Mitchell realizes that together, they can’t lose. The artwork, perfectly paced with the text’s comedic beats, is full of energy, physical comedy and emotion. Fucile’s style is reminiscent of the post-war–boom advertising that idealized America’s promise; still, it’s also current, bringing that same sense of hope to a more modern America. Here, the family is mixed-race; the mother works (possibly from home); and the dad is a full and actively engaged partner in the parenting process, showing patience, understanding, creativity and love. Durand and Fucile are a winning combination, and their father/son bonding will leave readers in stitches. Loads of fun with a lot of heart. (Picture book. 3-7)

Durand and Fucile are a winning combination, and their father/son bonding will leave readers in stitches. Loads of fun with a lot of heart(Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6049-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2013

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A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST

Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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A visually striking, engaging picture book that sends the message that everyone counts.

ONE FAMILY

A playful counting book also acts as a celebration of family and human diversity.

Shannon’s text is delivered in spare, rhythmic, lilting verse that begins with one and counts up to 10 as it presents different groupings of things and people in individual families, always emphasizing the unitary nature of each combination. “One is six. One line of laundry. One butterfly’s legs. One family.” Gomez’s richly colored pictures clarify and expand on all that the text lists: For “six,” a picture showing six members of a multigenerational family of color includes a line of laundry with six items hanging from it outside of their windows, as well as the painting of a six-legged butterfly that a child in the family is creating. While text never directs the art to depict diverse individuals and family constellations, Gomez does just this in her illustrations. Interracial families are included, as are depictions of men with their arms around each other, and a Sikh man wearing a turban. This inclusive spirit supports the text’s culminating assertion that “One is one and everyone. One earth. One world. One family.”

A visually striking, engaging picture book that sends the message that everyone counts. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 26, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-374-30003-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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